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Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

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Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

Post by Katiedot on Sat Mar 05 2011, 11:10

Now what? The UN moves in?

From ABC

Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

March 04, 2011 2:47 PM

A satellite imagery network set up by actor George Clooney to document abuses in Sudan has released a set of photographs today showing the smoldering remains of structures in a tense oil-rich region that is coveted by both sides of a long-standing conflict there.

One of the images released by the Satellite Sentinel Project show at least twenty civilian buildings that appear to have been intentionally burned in the village of Maker Abior. Other images show a buildup of Sudanese Armed Forces units, including artillery, near the Abyei region.

Embedded below is the satellite image of Maker Abior. Further down is the same image with SSP's analysis.

Another image released Friday shows burned structures in the village of Todach. Clooney’s group says the absence of scorched ground vegetation or trees is indicative of apparent arson.

In the past week, intense fighting around Abyei has killed at least 100 people and countless more have been displaced or fled in fear. According to the Enough Project, which partnered with Clooney on the six-month, $750,000 satellite project, the motivations of the fighting depend on which side is talking. Southern Sudanese authorities say the attackers were members of the Sudanese army and allied militias, while some tribal officials say southern forces have instigated the violence by disguising troops as part of a police force that is meant to be neutral. Neither side is supposed to have troops in the area.

The United States yesterday condemned the violence.

“The United States calls on local and national authorities to ensure that the UN Mission in Sudan has the access required to protect civilians, increase patrols where fighting is taking place, and engage with local leaders to restore calm,” said State Department spokesman PJ Crowley.

Clooney has lent his star power to the cause of peace in Sudan and has made several trips there in the past year to highlight the violence.

In an interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper on ‘This Week’ in January, Clooney said he hoped these images would enable the international community to hold both sides accountable for atrocities, and perhaps even prevent them.

“If you see actual evidence of those kind of attacks, that's something that you can do that the U.N. can actually work with,” he said.“We're going to be able to, you know, not show it afterwards but show it beforehand that there were plans, there are tanks lined up, that there are helicopters on line that are going to -- that are about to commit atrocities,” Clooney added.

Oil rich Abyei remains at the heart of a smoldering conflict between North and South Sudan. The two sides fought a bloody civil war that lasted for decades. It ended in 2005 with the signing of a US-brokered Comprehensive Peace Agreement that called for referenda this year on South Sudan’s independence and on the status of Abyei.

In January the South Sudan referendum took place under what international monitors called free and relatively peaceful circumstances, resulting in overwhelming support for South Sudan’s independence, but the referendum on Abyei was delayed over concerns that conflict there would jeopardize the rest of the process in the rest of the country.

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Re: Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

Post by Katiedot on Sat Mar 05 2011, 11:23

I couldn't get the satellite images to load, so you'll need to click on the link to see.

Here's an interview George did with ABC a while back:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

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Re: Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

Post by melbert on Sat Mar 05 2011, 15:53

Thanks Katie!

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Re: Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

Post by lucy on Sat Mar 05 2011, 18:26

I'm going to watch at a later date and then comment. After everything I've been watching on the news lately I need a visual break from violence.

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Re: Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

Post by Atalante on Sat Mar 05 2011, 20:26

Well looks a lot like the Libya's fights.

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Re: Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

Post by melbert on Sat Mar 05 2011, 22:46

It is just so scary in that whole region over there. Do they think than any good can come from any kind of war and killing? I know it's been that way throughout history, but it still saddens me. Sad Crying or Very sad

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Re: Images from George Clooney's Satellite Network Show Burned Villages, Military Buildup in Sudan

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